Mash Potatoes but Plenty of Snow say On-Snow Reporters

Matt Mottershead put together a GREAT video of The Nest Games at Hawksnest last weekend March 4th.  Check it out by clicking here

Dana Bolden reports on Cataloochee –

We skied the night session at Cataloochee again tonight (Friday night).  It was 70+ degrees in Haywood County today, so I didn’t know what to expect at Cataloochee.  I knew they’d have coverage since Sunday was so good, though.  Coverage WAS quite good.  There was a very slushy spot on the approach to the double and quad lifts and the beginnings of some slush/dirty snow on skiers-right of Rabbit Hill, but still good coverage overall.  There was a LOT of melt water running under the quad lift just after the loading station.  The snow was definitely loose granular – pretty much like skiing on very course loose sand.  As expected, there was almost nobody there – we pretty much skied right onto the chair every run – my legs still haven’t recovered!  Rock Island, Lower Omigosh , and Rabbit Hill were all pretty chopped up and loose throughout.  Even so, it was a great night of skiing.

David Long reports from Ober Gatlinburg –

Well I do believe that Spring skiing does not exist in East Tennessee .  I truly think that the weather went from Winter straight into Summer.  Being out there today felt like the temps were near 80 but in reality they were only in the mid 70s I think.  But hey thats darn warm on the snow.  I, like many others, opted for no sunscreen and I am feeling the burn right now as I type this.  The weather was hot, of course, but the view from the top today was breathtaking.  Figures that the one day I forget my camera at home is also the one day that you can see clear across the valley to the plateau which is about a 2 hour drive away.  Clear skies and warm temps…no wonder the ski patrol was sitting out sun bathing today.  The snow…well I was blessed with first tracks today and with the snow being so soft it felt like my board was cutting through butter.  It was great for the first hour. 

After that things went down hill very fast.  A large group from Louisiana came to the area today and I saw them go through ski school but they must have all been deaf or something because also saw about 90% of them go straight down the mountain without making a single turn…well most didn’t make it very far before they fell. 

Cub Way and Castle Run were both very dangerous today because of this group.  Now Mogul Ridge was amazing.  The snow was surprisingly very firm and near hard pack conditions.  Of course it wasn’t hard pack but it was very close and compared to the rest of the snow it was perfect.

The trail of the day and probably the weekend.  If your there for the closing weekend make sure to hit it.  And if you like jumps the large roller is still in the middle of the run with a nice take off if you don’t follow the path that 90% of the riders take.  The landing is nice if you carry enough speed to cross to the down side of a mogul that is in the way.  Hit it like you would a 25 footer and you’ll be fine.  The weather is threatening rain for Sat and Sun so expect little or no crowds and mash potatoes for the snow conditions.  Come to Ober or go to Beech and help these two resorts have a great last day on Sunday.

Joe Harmon reports from Appalachian on Saturday –

It was a little wet so I figured in order to stay dry an umbrella would be great and since the flag is in route back to nc from mt, I didn’t have the flag so i needed something to stick out.  I sure did. I got lots of looks and stuff, but it was great.

Dave McConnell reports from Snowshoe Mountain –

For those of you that have been following for a while, you know that Snowshoe has not been one of my favorite places to ski.  Well, it still isn’t my favorite place to ski but my family absolutely loved it so that’s good enough in my book.  Short of taking a trip to West or to Vermont , Snowshoe is probably the best family experience around.  The skiing itself is really only average, but everything non-skiing about Snowshoe is top notch.

My kids loved being able to roam around the village and go to the Split Rock Pools after skiing, and the ability to park the car and not return to it for the duration of the trip was really nice for me.  We stayed in the Rimfire lodge which I would highly recommend, both for it’s convenient location and fine accommodations.  I believe it is one of the lower priced properties within the Village, not cheap but not break the bank expensive either.

With temperatures ranging from the mid 40’s to the 70’s during our stay the skiing was very springlike, firm in the mornings quickly turning to soupy mashed potatoes by the early afternoon.  While Snowshoe has an adequate base in place, some of the more advanced slopes are showing bare spots and this list wil probably continue to grow until midweek when the temperatures return to seasonal norms and grooming and snowmaking can resume.

My son (and many others) loved the "mini" terrain park off of the Powder Monkey lift for its small features that you probably aren’t going to get hurt falling off of.  The features in the main terrain park were HUGE, too big for most people to take advantage of and I saw very few people do more than just ride through the area to take a look.

All in all, it was a very fun trip and my kids cannot wait to go back. Oh well, American Express, don’t leave home without it.

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.